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Thursday, January 3rd, '19

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

DIGGING AND DUNGING

"Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it" (Luke 13: 8)

 

God is a fruit inspector. We, on the other hand, are to be fruit bearers. My friend, Chaplain of Bourbon Street, Bob Harrington says, "Believers should be known by the fruit they bear not the fertilizer they spread!" The "fig tree" here (vs 7) represents Israel prophetically but also the individual believer practically. The tree was "planted", which assumes a gardener's care. It had sucked up valuable sun, rain, plant food and soil so in turn was expected to produce a crop. But the vinedresser "sought fruit thereon, and found none". On a similar occasion of hunger, Jesus visited a fig tree and found "nothing but leaves" (Mark 11:13). Leaves portray religious fluff, profession without possession.

 

Angered, the orchard owner cried, "Cut it down". So cries the Law in righteousness as well as the "accuser of the brethren" in revenge. Even you and I lose patience with people at times and wish someone would get fired or the fig tree uprooted. "Why cumbereth it the ground?" Many people are takers, not givers, spiritual freeloaders, depleting the soil of rich nutrients, never giving back a dime. The ax was drawn but one Who loved the tree lunged between it and the sharpened blade mediating on its behalf. "Let it alone this year also", pleaded Christ the Intercessor. "Let me dig about it, and dung it". Not very good grammar, but great grace. The work of the husbandman is twofold, digging and dunging, manicuring and manuring. "Digging" is the sharp, cutting, chiseling work the Spirit does in our lives while "dunging" is His enriching, grace-applying, nutrient-fortifying applications. Both operations of the Spirit work together, the times He handles us with gentleness (dunging) in conjunction with the times He seems to mess with our personal root system (digging). Be thankful for both.

 

We should treat others with the same patience. In fact one of the "fruit of the Spirit" is long-suffering (Galatians 5:22). That fruit in us begets fruit in others. Marriage relationships need digged and dunged. That sounds sick, doesn't it? But you can understand the metaphor. I'm not talking about pitching manure into the fan but gently working it into the soil. In parenting you have to put up with a lot of...well, dung. But it is all part of the growth process. Be careful with the roots. Add lots of water and love but never soak the plant to excess. You can buy Miracle-Gro if you don't wish to store your own compost. Applying Miracle-Gro assumes that you are expecting a miracle to happen. Christ deals with us in that confidence. "Let it alone, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bears fruit, well..." He expects results, but is not overly harsh with slow bloomers. Our part is to be open to His shovel and pruning shears and that wheelbarrow full of smelly compost. No one said growing as a Christian was going to be easy or always a sweet-smelling experience. But the rich figs shaken from the branches at harvest will make all the unpleasantness worth it all.


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